Wednesday, 13 October 2010


Today the first of the 33 trapped miners in Chile are finally reaching the surface again. For the first time since August 5 they will breathe surface air, they will however still not see the light just yet. This is due to the damage it would cause their eyes after months in darkness. So it seems the story will get a happy ending after all.

Mining accidents are quite common, especially in China. Last year 2,631 miners were killed in accidents and the worst year 2002 there were 6,995 deaths in Chinese mines. Safety is appaling, corporate social repsonsibility is unheard of and the environment is damaged on a large scale. All this is regarded as secondary as coal, and lots of it, is needed to fuel the growing economy. Lately regulations have been launched to help safety in mines, for example management have been forced to regularly spend time and do inspections underground. Hopefully these regulations can help improve the situation of Chinese miners, but many seem to have little hope this will lead to more than marginal improvements.

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